Warnings: Bad language, AU, OOC, Dark!Germany, Mafia!Italy, Genderbending, infrequent updates, possibly yaoi later on.

Pairings: Gerita (main) Spamano, Franada, PrusHung, USUK (will be mentioned in passing/ are minor pairings when compared to the GERITA that will melt your brain.)

Summary: Ludwig Beilschmidt is an ex-military, freelance bodyguard. His psychotic elder brother gets him a cushy, well paid job that lines up nicely with his own. Ludwig is appalled. Looking after the playboy grandson of some crazy Italian mafia boss is the last thing he wants to do. But once you're in The Family, you can't get out, and ol' Lutz is finding it harder and harder to want out

You may or may not know all the German and or Italian in this, so have your favourite translator open in another tab, I'm not going to translate the little things in text. Also the translations may suck. My translator of choice is Google.

I apologise if you feel it's bad of me not to include all of the translations.

~RutheLa

Ps. Sorry about The Thief, I'll get on that . . .

Mein Schutzengel - Il Mio Protettore

"Verdammt, Gil! I don't need you to look after me, Bruder! I can take care of myself!" the tall man growled into his mobile phone. The technological marvel of the 21st century looked ridiculous, dwarfed as it was by the large German hand in which it was perched. Perched, much like a very small finch is perched in the claws of an enormous cat; perched on the precipice of its own imminent demise.

"Ja, richtig, Lutz. Just like last time, right?" the elder said softly, a little sadness seeping through his usual, brain-melting ego.

"Gilbert," Ludwig's voice was very quiet. The sort of quiet that crickets make when there is something oh, so very much larger and scarier than they are in the grass, and whatever the beastie may be is headed straight for your throat, "You are my brother. You are older and wiser than I am. But I will not listen to you if you talk like that. I don't want to talk, and I really don't need that from you."

"Was auch immer, Lutz," Whatever, the crackly and irritated voice on the other end of the line snapped, sounding much more like the Gilbert Ludwig was used to, "Straighten that stick you keep up your butt and get your giant Deutsch arsch on a plane to Venice this fucking instant, hörst du mich?" D'you hear me?

"Jawohl, Abschied." Yes, Goodbye. The younger brother responded curtly, stabbing at his tiny miracle of cellular technology with his finger hard enough to make it spark in protest and die there in his palm.

"Verdammt ficken Handy," he hissed, damn fucking phone, tossing the useless rectangle of circuitry into the nearest trash can. He sighed and looked up at the beautiful Berlin cityscape that surrounded him. At least a better job would help him pay for all these damn phones.

He turned to the middle aged man who had been standing behind him. He was slim and austere, windblown brunette hair that was just turning grey at the temples made him look refined rather than old. Though he was at least a foot shorter than the German, the composer still managed to look condescendingly at the taller man,

"I hope that wasn't a personal phone call on my time, Herr Beilschmidt," the Austrian tapped his foot, slender arms crossed tightly over his chest. Somehow, Ludwig resisted the urge to hang his head like a little boy and say, 'sorry, sir.'

"Yes, Herr Edelstein, it was my brother."

"Well, I hope you realise how serious this is? What if I were to be kidnapped or worse während Sie waren mit Ihrem Bruder plaudern?" While you were chatting with your brother.

"I realise exactly how serious it is, Her Edelstein," one more word. If that pompous, piano-playing goat said one more patronising word, Ludwig was going to shoot him. Here, now, in this park and between the eyes.

"I'm afraid I shall have to withhold a portion of your pay check this month," Roderich Edelstein shook his head as though the thought saddened him deeply. What bullshit. Ludwig knew the man was as rich as Croesus, and as miserly as Scrooge.

"No, you won't, Herr Edelstein," the German said calmly, his expression hadn't changed from the beginning of his conversation with Gilbert, and it was starting to concern his employer, "I am terminating out contract; effective immediately."

"You can't do that!" Roderich shrieked. Ludwig looked at him. It was the look of someone who had seen great pain and great suffering, and was currently staring at someone who thought he had it worse; someone who was so spectacularly wrong that there should be an award in their name.

There was a soft shwif of fabric and a finite metal click, and before the irate Austrian could blink, there was a HK USP .45 Tactical handgun aimed right between his eyes, the silencer pressing a cold, hard ring into his forehead.

"Yes, Herr Edelstein, actually I can." The smaller man gulped and nodded, looking paler than death and shaking as though he was facing down the Grim Reaper himself rather than a six-foot-six, muscle-bound, ice-eyed, ex-military German bodyguard with a semi-automatic firearm.

Strike that. Ludwig Beilschmidt would make the Grim Reaper piss himself on sight.

"Abschied, Herr." He said, and strode off to flag down a taxi and book himself a ticket to Venice, leaving Roderich Edelstein trembling in the middle of a Berlin green zone.

~=======oOo =======~

Slim bronze fingers, perfectly manicured, fastened gold cufflinks into the cool sleeves of a white silk shirt. With a skill born of long practise, those same fingers carelessly flicked mother of pearl buttons into place; leaving the three open to expose a sliver of chest as flat and smooth as a sheet of beaten metal.

With utmost reverence, those delicate hands lifted a small gold cross from a hook on the wall besides the bed and used a neatly trimmed thumb nail to open the clasp. The thin chain trickled coldly around the sculpted column of neck, encircling it.

The hands shook as they tapped each shoulder, forehead and chest. The tiny crucifix was lifted with care to full, smooth lips, and as the metal was pressed against the skin, the lower lip was pulled down, revealing a flash of moist skin as pink and desirable as the inner flesh of a halved strawberry. A muted and humble tenor whispered a quiet prayer, offering up his deeds to Heaven.

With as much reverence as was given to the cross, a Beretta 8000 Cougar was picked up off the polished cherry end table. Long, thin fingers trailed over the barrel of the gun, and a fond smirk touched the corners of those sweet lips. In a careless motion, the Beretta was tucked into the back of the tight, black Diesel jeans that fit almost like a second skin.

Carelessly throwing on an Emporio Armani waistcoat, the hands brushed a few strands of copper coloured hair from honey-toned eyes. The fingers frittered uselessly for a few minutes trying to make a particularly rambunctious lock of hair lie flat, but only succeeded in making it curl into a spiral as well as encouraging it to defy gravity further.

A heavy gold watch weighed down the slim wrist that hovered over several sets of keys. The hand flinched as a razor thin mobile phone began to buzz the Tarantella Napoletana across the tabletop. Barely pausing to check the caller ID, the pad of a thumb flicked the device open and held it up the broadly smiling mouth,

"Ve~ Fratellone, come stai?"

A burst of rapid-fire Italian on the other end made the expensively dressed individual sigh through a delicately curved nose, the high cheekbones dusted with a glow of anger, and the Italian was returned with equal vigour, the delicate hands becoming a means of communication. The elaborate hand gestures became more and more grandiose until the right hand held the phone while the left clenched and unclenched, almost perpendicular to the floor.

"Stai zitto, Lovino! Shut up! I don't need another babysitter!" he snapped, his arm descending and snatching up a set of keys; the one with the three-pronged crown.

"Chigi! You've had Nonno retire three this month alone! You need someone to protect you!" the furious voice on the other end buzzed, "Look, this guy is my guy's brother, and the dumb shit as already called him down."

"Then I'll pay for his plane ticket and send him back to whichever Berlin bar he was in before your guy called him." The younger brother said, exasperated.

"Look, fratellino," the other speaker seemed to be forcibly pushing his anger back down his own throat, "I've seen this guy's resume; it's longer than he is tall. If you believe his brother, that's pretty fucking long. And it's good to. He had a bit of a hitch on his last assignment. But look, he's ex-military and he can assemble any gun you care to throw at him in under thirty seconds and then shoot you with it."

"Antonia is rubbing your back isn't she?"

"Vaffanculo! So what if she is? It's none of your business!"

"Ve~ Easy there, Lovi, or she'll stop. Ciao, Antonia!" he called the last bit out loud enough for his brother's Spanish girlfriend to hear. A faint "Hola, cariño!" could be heard over the airwaves

"She says hi," Was the curt and long-suffering Lovino's only comment on the third party conversation that was now going on between his brother and his girlfriend.

Crash. Zip. Thunk. Various Italian curses. Gunfire.

"Chigi, Feli," Lovino sighed, "did they kill you this time?"

"No, idiota," the younger brother dusted glass off his waistcoat, "but that testa di cazzo owes me a new window."

"See? Feli, Nonno is worried about you. You need to have some kind of protection!"

"I use a condom every time!" The silence that greeted this joke was profound in its severity.

"Bene! Send him to the Bauer Il Palazzo. I'll meet him there tomorrow. He's Beilschmidt, like your guy, si?"

"Si. Ciao, Feli." And the line went dead.

Feliciano Vargas prodded the corpse of his would-be assassin with the toe of his loafers and shot the man once more for good measure. Then he called his people, "Nikki, clean up in my bedroom, grazie."

And grabbing the keys to his boat, he slid down the banister and out the front door.

~=======oOo =======~

"Hey, Lutz! Feli's going to meet you tomorrow at the Bauer Hotel! Paid for! Lieb, ja?" Sweet, yeah?

"Ja, Bruder," Ludwig sighed; he was beginning to regret sending his new number to Gilbert.

"Dude, you are in the City of Love! Zumindestbehaupte du bist glücklich!"

"I see no point in pretending to be happy when I'm not, Gil. And I'm pretty sure that the city of love is actually Paris."

"Jesus, Lutz! What a ray of fucking sunshine! Look. I'm in Rome right now with Lovino. I'll be down with you in a day or so. Lovi wants to see how you and Feli are getting along."

"I always play nice." Was the inflectionless response, and though Gilbert wouldn't admit it, it scared him more than a little when Ludwig used that tone of voice.

"Seriously. Ludwig, don't fuck around here. If your guy doesn't approve of your conduct, you get fired. And by fired, I mean fired permanently. From life." He paused for a second and when the younger brother didn't say anything, he added, with some concern for Ludwig's intelligence, "And by that I mean they take you outside and shoot you in the fucking head. They kill you, Lutz."

The silence stretched out between them like a piece of bubblegum pulled slowly in opposite directions; sagging and thinning in the middle until it breaks into two pieces.

"Lutz? Speak the fuck up! Not cool, man."

"If you were so concerned with my safety, bruder, why did you get me an interview?" it was a quiet question. One to which there were several answers. Many of these answers were in Gilbert's diary (It's a journal, damn it!), such as how much he worried about his brother, all alone in Berlin. Ludwig was a recluse, and his last romantic relationship had ended with the girl running screaming from his apartment and calling the police, who almost discovered some undesirable things in the German's apartment. The one before that had ended in Lutz marching the poor girl out of his place at gunpoint and threatening to plug her between the eyes if she ever let her thoughts stray in his direction again.

It also worried Gilbert that Ludwig had a certain fondness for execution-style shootings. The military had been good for Lutz, or at the very least it had given him an outlet for his particular brand of queer.

And that the man never seemed to loosen up. If the man was any more tightly wound, he was going to shoot a cuckoo out his ass on the hour, ever hour. There was a time for that stereotypical German efficiency, and then there was the time to rock out. Or, that's what Lutz did. Gil preferred grand opera, despite what people would think. It made him feel even more awesome.

"I don't trust you with my girlfriend. You're either going to shoot her or fuck her, and I'd rather have you here, with me, in Italy." It was the least of his worries, really; Elizaveta Héderváry was probably the most vicious person he knew, second to Lutz. She was more obvious about it and she preferred to induce blunt force trauma via cast-iron frying-pan. So it was a safe bet that if the two of them ever decided to go behind his back, he would know because Ludwig would have a permanent concussion. Not that Gilbert was sure his brother didn't have a permanent concussion.

"Du bist ein Schwanz, Gil." Was the curt reply, but there was a hint of a smile to it, which had the elder brother laughing in relief,

"I may be a dick, but I'm alive and I have a cushy job. Yours will be less so; Feli is a real wild card. Lovino is just moody. Feli's had eighteen bodyguards this year, three this month, and he's had them all shot. The minute that little shit starts talking about 'pensionamento,' or retirement, or whatever, get out. Shoot who you need to, and get the fuck out of dodge."

"I'm in Venice."

"You, Lutz, are terminally literal minded. That is your fucking problem."

"I'm going to the hotel now."

"Gute Nacht, don't let the crazy Italian kill you in your sleep."

Ludwig let out a dark chuckle. It was the first time he'd laughed in a while, and it sent shivers up and down the spine of the man driving the boat, and Gilbert alike.

"I'd like to see him try."

"God, Lutz, that's fucking creepy! G'bye!"

"Abschied, Bruder."

Still shuddering, Gilbert hung up the phone and walked back to Lovino, who had been standing out of earshot.

"He'll be there in about half an hour. He has everything he needs for a demonstration of his abilities and a copy of his C.V."

"He never said any of that. You didn't even ask anything like that. And I'm not moody." His employer snapped.

Fucking Cosa Nostra tapping his fucking phone.

"It's not what he said, it's what I know. Lutz is exceptionally . . . German. For fun, he cleans and goes to the gym," Gilbert's face twitched in disapproval. For fun he went to a club, got wasted and drunk-dialled Elizaveta, begging her to marry him. Maybe he should make some friends in Italy . . . aside from Lovino's girlfriend, who was friends with everyone.

"Are you sure he's your brother?" the Italian laughed; he sounded like Gil's polar opposite.

"I haven't got the balls to steal DNA from him to test it," the albino said before he could realise that he'd said something that was self-depreciating, almost insulting! He may not dare steal Lutz's DNA, but he had given the man a shot once! And sewn him up on numerous occasions. And a wounded Ludwig was akin to a wounded rhino; you stay the fuck away from that think until it dies, lest it gore you. However, the elder Vargas brother was looking at him with a mix of shock and awe,

"You haven't had the balls? You?" he asked, sounding slightly worried.

"Uh-Well, yeah. He's six-six and spends all his time at the gym. He's military trained and trigger-happy. That's not something you want to fuck around with."

"Feliciano is going to hate him."

"I apologise if your brother hates my brother; I will also apologise if and when my brother blows your brother's brains out, but right now you have an hour until you have to pick up Antonia for your date. You should get ready. I have it from her PA that she'll be wearing green to match her eyes. You should dress to match."

"Chigi. I should just kill you now and save myself future headaches."

"Who else are you going to find who won't hit on your girlfriend?"

"Shut up."

~=======oOo =======~

It was a luxurious hotel to be sure, very ornate, with splendid architecture. However, that didn't really interest Ludwig very much. What did please him, however, was that it was very clean and tidy. With a sigh, he got out the parts for the (minimalistic) three guns that he had brought across by disguising them as parts of different objects, and with several pleasing clicks, there were three hand guns lined up on the polished wood coffee table in front of him.

That done, he took his favourite, the HK tactical, with him to the bedroom; hiding the other two, one in the bathroom, and the other in the lounge.

He ordered room service and ate the delicious roast beef without comment or any outward sign of enjoyment. After his meal, he showered, scrubbing himself thoroughly and until he was slightly pink. Wearing a pair of pale blue cotton boxer shorts, he got into bed and soon fell into a deceptively light sleep. Ludwig was not a heavy sleeper, not at all.

~=======oOo =======~

Craftily, Feliciano picked the lock on the hotel room door. This was where his new keeper was sleeping. With any luck he could get this one retired within the month. A big guy, Lovi had said, all work, no play, a little gym crazed. Had a resume as long as he was tall, and that was pretty fucking long if you were to believe Lovino Vargas. And Feli did. Lovi was his fratellone after all. It helped that Lovi's bodyguard was this guy's brother. A German then. Perfect. That was all he needed; someone else trying to run his life efficiently. Just fucking perfect.

Feli stopped when he saw the shape in the bed. It was monstrous! The man must be seven foot tall! That was absurd! How did Nonno expect him to be protected by a man that large? He was probably all muscle and no brains. With a derisive tsk, Feliciano Vargas turned to leave.

There was something relatively small and cold pressed into the back of the Italian's head.

"Wer bist du?" a voice asked, deep, cold and as unyielding as steel.

Who are you?

"Ve~ You sleep with a gun under your pillow, cara? Those are some trust issues you have there!"

There was a click as the gun at the base of Feliciano's skull was cocked.

"Wer bist du, und warum sollte ich nicht du töten?"

Who are you, and why shouldn't I kill you?

Feli grinned from ear to ear, a dark light in his eyes. He didn't know much German, but he knew enough to understand that line of questioning.

"Ve~ Amico. You're hired."

Ok. Do NOT expect every chapter to be this long. Seriously. I think I died twice writing this.

That said, I had a load of fun doing so! Be a peach and let me know if I should continue?

Xens, call me when you read this, let me know what you think of these 7 pages of my life.

I'm going to go to bed now!